Knowledge about HIV transmission in the UK declined over last five years
Knowledge about HIV transmission has decreased in the past five years in Great Britain, according to an Ipsos MORI poll commissioned by the National AIDS Trust.
The survey found that in 2005, 79% of people surveyed knew that HIV can be transmitted through unprotected heterosexual sex compared with 91% in 2000. In addition, 73% knew that HIV can be transmitted through contaminated needles, compared with 88% in 2000. The percent of people reporting no knowledge of how HIV is transmitted rose from 6% in 2000 to 8% in 2005.
In addition, 7% of people who participated in the 2005 survey incorrectly believed the virus can be transmitted through spitting, 4% incorrectly believed it can be transmitted through kissing and 2% incorrectly believed it can be contracted from toilet seats. About 40% of respondents said they always use a condom with a new partner, and one in eight said they would ask a new partner to get tested for HIV or another sexually transmitted infection before having sex without a condom.
In London, an area which has the highest HIV prevalence in the country, 70% of residents knew that HIV can be transmitted through unprotected heterosexual sex and 57% believe the virus can be transmitted through contaminated needles. The survey also indicates that people who know more about the disease tend to be less prejudiced toward HIV-positive people.
For a full copy of the Ipsos MORI report or to arrange interviews contact Emma Bickerstaff on 020 7814 6730.
National Aids Trust: